Protesters defied a midnight to 5am curfew imposed after a week of protests against the killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old black teenager, by a white police officer.
Protesters clashed with dozens of policemen dressed in riot gear, 30 minutes after the curfew went into effect and ended with the arrest of seven protesters, all charged with “failure to disperse”.
Jay Nixon, the governor of Missouri, declared a state of emergency as the riots in Ferguson escalated and protesters began looting and setting fire to buildings.
The curfew, which was set to begin at midnight yesterday, was implemented to bring order to the midwest city of Ferguson. Many protesters defied the curfew and subsequently clashed with police. Seven protesters were arrested for failing to disperse after the police issued warnings via loudspeakers.
Meanwhile, police had reportedly responded to a shooting in which one victim was hit and is in critical condition. It was reported that tear gas was used, though Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson said that it was not in relation to the protests and was instead used to reach a wounded victim.
According to Reuters, Phones Scott, a 24 year-old protester, said, “The curfew is going to make it worse. I think the cops are going to get violent tonight, but they can’t lock us all up.”
The death of Michael Brown has been deemed racially motivated by the protesters who say that the officer who shot him did so as the teenager was attempting to flee unarmed.
According to witnesses on the scene during the shooting, Wilson attempted to grab Brown through the window of his patrol car and when he was not able to, he exited the vehicle and shot Brown several times though he had raised his hands in a sign of surrender.
The US city of Ferguson has witnessed sustained protests following the death of Michael Brown, age 18, who was unarmed when a white police officer, Darren Wilson, opened fire on the black teenager.